Life

I Want To Be A Part of It

Here's the second part of my New York diary! I realize while editing my 100s of pics, that I started taking less pictures as the week went on and I got more tired and was trying to focus on just like experiencing things. But I did get some good pics and I had a lot of fun. 

Saturday

Saturday was a really weird day. We left the house a little later than usual, but I had been awake forever and felt really out of it. We didn't really have buying appointments on this day because we went to Capsule and ManxWoman which are pretty big "trade" shows. I definitely preferred visiting smaller showrooms that were more intimate over the trade shows. I did spot Rachel Antonoff at Capsule though, which literally made my day!

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We were meant to go to Jack's Wife Freda for brunch, not realizing that NY brunch lines are HELLA LONG. It was an hour and half wait, in the rain, so we went searching for other options. We ended up at The Egg Shop which I honestly think was meant to be because the food was amazing and I fell in love with cold brew there, so it was a win-win. 

A Day in Brooklyn〰Sunday

Sunday was pretty great, and definitely one of the highlights of my trip. I met up with my best friend from middle school and we headed to the Brooklyn Museum to see their small Basquiat exhibition. And we were in Brooklyn! It was great, even though the neighbourhood wasn't super vibing on a sleepy Sunday but I felt so comfortable and so excited, it was great!

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I was definitely a tourist at Grand Central because GOSSIP GIRL PEOPLE!

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The Brooklyn Museum was honestly a treasure! From Judy Chicago's Dinner Party to their singular Basquiat painting, the exhibitions felt really unique and inspiring. I'd have to say that my favourite exhibition was Infinite Blue which took up most of the first floor and focused on all these variations of blue. There were cool installations, like this weird underwater video that I wanted to watch forever. And its open all year, so people can still experience its magic. 

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We had brunch at Shane's, which I'm pretty sure is a black-owned restaurant which was really exciting for me. There's not a lot of unique, special black spaces in my current city, and so there was something really comforting being surrounded by black people who were just enjoying their Sunday brunch. I had their chicken and waffles, which was tasty and homey.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging around uptown--going to Barnes and Nobles and brainstorming in a Starbucks. It was just a nice, quiet day--a dream Sunday tbh.  

Monday

Monday was our last official day, and we didn't really have too many appointments, which gave us a chance to explore. Honestly, we went to some of the best places this day, including Coming Soon NYC and Totokaelo. This was the day that I felt the most like I belonged in New York, and not like I was just floating around with my eyes wide at everything. It was pretty great. 

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 Combine des Filles

Combine des Filles

 COMING SOON NYC

COMING SOON NYC

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 TOTOKAELO

TOTOKAELO

Once we were done with appointments we went to Ruby's Cafe, which is Australian cuisine and was really cozy. Even better, as we were finishing up I saw that FREAKING SUBRINA HEYNIK WAS THERE! I love her vintage store and her Instagram even more, not just for her aesthetics but also because of how much she speaks to what she believes in and never excuses herself from talking about important issues. I said hello to her as we were leaving, we hugged and we both almost cried. It was honestly one of the best ways to end the trip.

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I finally got to visit the Glossier Showroom which has been my dream since they first launched. To be honest, as beautiful as it was, the experience wasn't as special or exciting as I had built it up to be in my mind. Probably because it was a dreary Monday afternoon, and there wasn't much going on. I was too distracted to really try a lot of different products as well so there was that. Overall, I am glad I got a chance to go. 

 STREET STYLE

STREET STYLE

We spent the rest of our evening at some weird Amazon summer event, where I got pretty drunk, danced to some major bops and got really nostalgic about leaving the next day. 

Even months later, I still think about this trip often and how it confirmed that my dreams could be a reality. I'd wanted to go to New York for so long and I really built it up in my brain, and I was afraid it would disappoint. However, I felt so comfortable there and leaving was especially hard. But I'm definitely going back! 

Start Spreading the News

I've wanted to go  to New York ever since I was 11 years old and dreamed of being a writer and dating a Dan Humphrey type. The trip was made the more better because I went with the New Classics team and got to visit a lot of cool showrooms and get a firsthand look into what buyers do and a real behind the scenes look into the fashion industry.

I had the best experience in New York. Every moment there was something new and I've never really felt so comfortable in a place. I adapted pretty quickly; the first day I could barely stand up on the subway and by the end of the trip, I was navigating the system like a young pro. 

Arrival

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We arrived at LaGuardia just around sunset which made everything feel romantic and as if it was destined. We headed into the city, went to pick up the keys for our AirBNB, dropped our stuff off and headed to Brooklyn. We'd all ordered a few things to a friend's place there, so we went to grab dinner and then get our hands on our purchases!! I'm not sure where we had dinner but it was a really random place, and the food wasn't all that good. 

Wednesday

We dove into appointments right away, but not before making a morning stop at Cha Cha Matcha. I see the cafe on Instagram all the time and wanted to discover the hype and tbqh, it's the real deal. From the aesthetics to the product, it's all pretty amazing. AND it's easy to pretend that you're just taking a break from working at one of the very cool places around the neighbourhood.

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Maryam Nassir Zadeh Showroom 

After appointments with Suzanne Rae and Lauren Manoogian, we headed to Vanessa’s Dumpling House for a quick little lunch. It was pretty busy and we ended up sharing a table with a random guy. The food we had was good but I don't think I would go back, or I would go at a less busy time and order a lot more stuff. If you're in a rush though, definitely get their fried dumplings. Delicious!

Before we headed to our next showroom, me and Darleen got our auras taken at Crystal Magic in Chinatown which was honestly a beautiful experience. It just solidified a lot for me and I treasure it a lot. I wish I lived in New York because I would go like once a month if I could. 

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 Delfina Balda

Delfina Balda

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After a long and fast-paced first day we headed back to our AirBNB, making a stop for dinner at Lucien. I was desperate to try their signature cocktails but unfortunately I'm still a year underage. I didn't take too many pictures there because the lighting wasn't great and our table got into a pretty heated conversation so I got quickly distracted. But the food + atmosphere was amazing. 

Thursday

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One of my highlights of Thursday was getting to visit Mulberry Iconic Magazines which I swear had every mag title I had ever heard of and more. I had to show some restraint, as it was the beginning of the trip, but you can bet I got my hands on some fantastic titles--including the Timothée Chalamet issue of V-MAN. 

Thursday was even more hectic than Wednesday, as we went from appointment to appointment. We scarfed down lunch at Ivan Ramen in between two showrooms. I'm not like a major ramen fan by all means, but it was good although a bit salty. The best part of our appointments on Thursday? Getting to meet Yana of @gelcream (which I'm a big fan of) and Valerie Quant of LoQ, who also happens to be a good friend of Rachel Nguyen. 

Once all of our appointments were down, we stopped at a Van Leeuwen's for a treat, and I had THE BEST (vegan) ice-cream I have ever had. We had dinner at Westville, where I realized how much I loved burgers because that was all I wanted.

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Friday

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Friday was a bit of a weird day because we didn't really do much and I felt so tired my whole body was locked up. It was that feeling when you go, go, go and all of a sudden you stop and your body is like *shutdown*. Friday was our day to fully explore but we had a business lunch at Macy's Stella 34 Trattoria, and that ended up being longer than expected but was a very educational experience. 

After lunch we head to The Met, which I could not hold in my excitement about. We walked through Central Park to get there and I couldn't help but feel Blair Waldorf/Dorota vibes as we did. And then of course, THE MET which is just as amazing and beautiful a you would expect. Since we didn't really have the whole day to explore, I focused on seeing the temporary exhibitions I wanted to see, specifically the David Hockney one and the William Eggleston one. 

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    Our last stop of the evening was at The Strand which has been like a dream for me for so long. And it was honestly the most revitalizing experience. I love bookstores and so there was nothing better than trolling through this iconic spot. Definitely one of the best parts of the whole trip. We didn't do much for dinner--the hot bar at Whole Foods = everything--and I just laid on the couch and watched Gossip Girl. A perfect end to the week. 

    The first few days were pretty jam-packed but it pretty much slowed down from then on. The rest of the diary is coming next week, so keep an eye out for that!

    Redefining Success

    What is success? These days it seems like there’s an overflow of articles, books, podcasts, etc. that are all trying to give us some definition of success. Although it can be inspiring, it can quickly get overwhelming, especially when no one definition feels right.

    Late last year, I had my biggest struggle with success. I had made it my goal to be the most well-rounded student you’ve ever seen. I was going to raise my GPA, have an internship and do more creative work. And on top of that, I was going to read more books for fun. I knew trying to balance all of that was going to be tough but I believed that hustling was the key to success and so it would all be worth it in the end.

    So I worked hard at it. I studied everyday, making sure I was doing my readings and practicing my French. I went to my internship each week and made sure that I was working on my projects whenever I had a free moment. At the same time, I was managing and co-editing a blog, as well as working at my part-time job on the weekends. At first, I was thrilled with all the work I was doing. Yes, I thought, this is what successful women do! I thought that if I could handle my immense workload, then I would be proving something. To the people who thought I was lackadaisical and unserious. To my future bosses. To myself.

    By mid-October I was burnt out and unhappy. I started panicking when things would go wrong and I felt like nothing was in control. I kept on working but I wasn't sure what for.  To top it all off, I didn’t feel proud about anything I had achieved. Not about my grades, my internship, my work. Nothing. I didn’t feel like a success, I felt like a failure.

    I recently read an interview with Phoebe Lovatt, writer and founder of The WW Club, that articulated my current feeling about success: 

    I think the only key to success is deciding what success looks like for you, and not getting derailed by someone else’s version of it. To me, it’s asking myself: how often am I waking up and looking forward to my day? That’s success. It’s not about how much money I have, how many followers I have, how much I’m impressing people. If I don’t wake up and feel like my day is a day that I want to have, then what am I doing?
    — Phoebe Lovatt

    I'll be honest, this is easier said than done. It's easy to say that you don't care about how much money you have or how well your business is doing when you have achieved "conventional" success. When you're just a person working hard to get something published or bring an idea into fruition, it's hard to look at your life and feel like you've been successful. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Having a big idea about success is not a bad thing. In fact, it's important to keeping us motivated. On the other hand, it's important that we celebrate the smaller things that contribute to our being able to pursue the big ideal of success. Like finishing a draft, no matter how messy it may feel. Or having a difficult conversation with a friend. Or finally going to yoga class after months of putting it off. These are all challenges that we overcome and that's what success is about. Overcoming challenges. Or maybe it's not. That's up to each of us.

    It took a lot for me to come to the point where I realized I had to evaluate my relationship with success. I had to think about why I had defined success the way I had for so long and why I wasn't satisfied by it. I had to tap into some darker, uglier parts of myself that I often try to talk away. And it's not like I've found the answers in the process. In fact, I'm still trying to figure it out. I know it's a process. I don't feel like a success, but I do feel successful.